Sigh

Oct. 26th, 2007 12:01 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
I emailed myself my Raks Spooki postcard flyer last night so that I could send it to the Arlington print shop from my home computer, only to discover that I am apparently now running an older edition of Publisher at home than I am in the office, so it wouldn't open.  And now I am finding that Publisher doesn't want to open at all on my work computer.  This is troublesome as I rather need to print some flyers asap.  I suppose I could always stick the file on a cd and bring it to the print shop, though they'll charge me more for that than if I sent it to them online.  Unfortunately the Arlington place relies on print drivers to spool jobs so I need to be able to open the file to send it to them.  There is a nearby Kinkos, but if you send them anything but a pdf file, while they will convert it you then no longer have the option of viewing the final set up before committing to print, and I don't like that.  Update:  I managed to open Publisher in safe mode and save as an earlier version, so I'll try mailing it to myself again tonight.  Why is technology so needlessly complex sometimes?

My train broke down this morning; I could hear the radio dispatches from where I was sitting and either two cars spontaneously unhooked themselves or one car jumped the tracks.  I do hope Badriya Z is not in retrograde again.

Today's BPAL is Othello:  "Arabian musk with two roses and a bevy of Middle Eastern and Indian spices."  That will teach me to put on a freebie without reading its description first.  It is pretty appealing as rose scents go, and the rose is well balanced with the other elements, but it's still not at all me.  Straight to the sale pile.

bpal, yawn

Oct. 25th, 2007 03:49 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Today's bpal is Vampire's Tears, part of a series inspired by and created for Shojo Beat manga magazine:  "Regret born from ceaseless longing: wisteria, white grapefruit, neroli, green tea, jasmine, white ginger, honeysuckle, iris, and tonka."  I did not know that regret born from ceaseless longing smelled like Sweet Tarts.  Spicy Sweet Tarts, but Sweet Tarts nevertheless. Delicate light spicy floral that doesn't last very long.  I've accumulated enough of these that I will be sending some to eBay soon and this will probably be one of them.

I overslept two and a half hours this morning, waking up about ten minutes before I was due to arrive at work.  If Seti hadn't been making noise in the nightstand, I might still be sleeping now.  I don't like being late and panicked but it was nice to get a generous helping of REM cycle last night.

Finished watching End of the Century last night.  I seriously think Joey Ramone was one of the great tragic figures of the twentieth century.  I hope he was somewhat happy.  I think he was on stage anyway.  If you rent or buy this DVD, definitely check out the extra features, a lot of which is juicy interview stuff that was left out of the main film because it was too off the main story or too negative about somebody who was also featured in the film (Johnny Ramone on Chris Stein of Blondie's abilities as a drummer, for example).  Marky Ramone's segment on drum technique and what made the Ramones musically different is also fascinating.

bpal

Oct. 24th, 2007 01:39 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Today's bpal is Isles of Demons:  "Twin islands near Newfoundland, now lost, that were believed to be gateways to Hell. The scent is of wet, dark greenery, carnivorous flowers, volcanic gas, and the hot black musk of the demons and wild beasts that populated the islands."  This was a freebie tossed in with my order; I don't think I would have ordered something that claims to smell like gas, volcanic or otherwise.  Fortunately it's really just a musky floral with a strong hint of evergreen, somewhat on the sweet side.  I don't love it but I don't mind it.  Probably it will end up in the bath.

Still haven't really worked out what I think of the new PJ Harvey album.  All the songs are very short; just as I'm finding one interesting it goes and ends.  I think it's a bit more of an album of musical poetry than an album of poetic music.  I miss her full vocal range.

bpal

Oct. 23rd, 2007 11:00 am
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Today's BPAL is Kill-Devil:  " 'Rum punch is not improperly called Kill-Devil; for thousands lose their lives by its means. When newcomers use it to the least excess, they expose themselves to imminent peril, for it heats the blood and brings on fevers, which in a very few hours send them to their graves.'  Sugar cane, molasses, oak wood, and honey."  Yummy burnt sugar aroma.  It's rather androgynous; it's what I would want Jack Sparrow to smell like.

Ok, totally lost my train of thought there.  This is a distracting sexy pirate scent!
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (decordovastone)
Got my hair cut last night--you wouldn't think that with simple long straight hair a cut could make a big difference, but it does.  I hadn't realized how shapeless it had gotten.  Jason is still cutting hair, just not at a salon, so again if anybody is looking for him I'm happy to pass along his phone number.  He thinks I should keep seeing Wendy for my color.  We agreed that nobody wants to give the salon owners money at this point, but as he pointed out, the stylists there are his friends and he doesn't want what happened to hurt their bottom lines.  Plus, she did do a really good job, so I was easily swayed to that line of reasoning.

Today's BPAL is Plunder:  "The scent of a pirate's gumboat, overflowing with stolen wares: tea leaf, cassia, cinnamon bark, clove, allspice, sandalwood, tobacco, peppercorn, and nutmeg."  It does indeed smell like all those things and is relatively mild.  The sandalwood creates a smooth base for all the other scents to develop from.  I like it.  This is one of the ones that smells more like a perfume than a mix of oils, very nicely balanced.  Though when I first put it on this morning, my immediate thought was "scented black and purple markers!"  Luckily as soon as the oil had dried it no longer provoked that association.

Gosh do I have a lot to do in the next 56 hours or so.  The one thing that is challenging me is when to do my henna voodoo veves.  Can't do it right when I get home, because I need to sew and do some yoga.  My body is screaming for some real stretching.  But if I do it late, I will have to stay up even later for it to dry enough to wrap, and then sleep with it wrapped up and run the risk of the design getting spotty.  I don't think I can do it Saturday am before the ball because I want to do yoga then as well, plus things will be generally hectic enough.  And I'm worried that if I do it Sunday morning/early afternoon, it won't be dark enough by evening when I do my show.  I think I just have to do it tonight.  Maybe we can finish Torchwood while I wait for it to dry, I think we've just got three episodes left of season one.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Last night I sewed until I couldn't see straight but I made some real progress.  I worked on the bra for about three and a half hours, so I think my original estimate of 5-6 hours to do the entire bra project will turn out to be accurate.  All my pieces are measured and cut and hemmed and the hardware is all done, so all I have left is to assemble the back piece, figure out a way to attach it in a removable yet sturdy fashion (velcro is somewhat evil but oh so tempting here, since the back panel isn't part of the integral support structure) and add the decorations on the front.  I must also sew a few more shell grommets for the back lacing, but I'm planning to do that on the train tonight.  For the first time last night I had a reality-based picture in my head of how all the different elements are going to look together when it's finished, and I'm very excited.  In some ways, this is the most ambitious costuming project I've done and I'm very pleased with how it's all come together.  Between sewing and rehearsing I don't think I'm going to get a lot of sleep this weekend, which is very unfortunate, but it will be worth it.

Think I forgot to mention here that I am going to The Moonlight Ball, the Gorey House fundraiser for the Animal Rescue League of Boston, after all--Kambriel needed models, so I'll be at the event wearing a fabulous outfit creating atmosphere and helping with the auctions.  No apple picking for me, I'm afraid, but I'm very excited.  It's a bit of a tradition for me and M to model for Kambriel right before our anniversary; just one or two nights before our wedding, we modeled for her at the Vampires and Victims Ball in Salem.  It was in some ways crazy to take an evening off from wedding stuff that close to the event but it was the best thing we could have done for our sanity.  So every couple of years we seem to find ourselves modeling again and it adds to the anniversary celebration.  Plus, this is for an excellent cause! 

Today's BPAL is Queen, from the Voodoo Blends collection:  "For use only by women. An extremely potent passion blend, used to great effect when you're converting feminine sexual energy into power."  I have no idea what's in it, but I think I have a winner for official Voodoo Dolly scent.  I think I can pick up vetiver, something lemony, cardomom, musk, maybe amber, and something so familiar that tugs at the edges of my brain but I can't quite get it.  The overall combination says exotic and mysterious without the cliches of standard scents like patchouli or neroli, and it somehow conveys unfathomable purpose and antiquity.  BPAL says that they researched the voodoo blends, so to anyone who knows anything about voodoo, it would add to the performance, and it makes my brain happy to find something that symbolically fits.  And last but not least, as I rode to work this morning my mp3 player handed me songs about women who kill without morals or regret (Miss Kitten, Jill Tracy, Siouxsie) and men who fall apart (Congo Norvell), so I'll take that as confirmation that this is the right choice ;-)
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
I got home earlier than expected from dance class last night and was able to make my very noisy, everybody will know where I am at all times anklets.  I was not able to get a web flyer done, but I did talk to Sashi and get her airplane ticket set up, which is more important anyway.  Really liked her on the phone, I'm feeling very good about the whole event.  I would very much like to get the flyer done today but I need Tribe to be functional so I can grab some Sashi photos from her gallery there.  Please, Tribe, get back up!

Hoping to get all my Voodoo Dolly sewing done tonight so that I can do a dress rehearsal on Friday, which would give me a little time on Saturday to fix anything terribly wrong.  I definitely have to practice while wearing my hairfalls, because a) I tend to throw my hair around a lot when I dance and b) the hairfalls have metal skull beads in them, so if I'm not careful I'm going to end up bonking myself in the face.

I got a new batch of BPAL imps, mostly with a New Orleans/Caribbean theme so that my perfume will match my costume on Sunday.  Hey, when I get obsessive, I get obsessive!  Today's BPAL is Port Royal:  "The Sodom of the New World! -- touted as the richest and wickedest city in all creation! Port Royal was the center of 17th century Caribbean commerce, a notorious safe harbor for pirates, and the site of our third flagship store, which was, sadly, destroyed in the earthquake of 1692. Spiced rum and ship’s wood mixed with the body-warmed trace of a prostitute’s perfume and a hint of salty sea air on the dry-down."  So I smell like a salty ho, in other words.  I really like the spiced rum and ship's wood elements, they create a scent together that is musk-like but with a touch of maybe cedar.  It was a little too sweet for me when I first put it on, but I'm liking it more as it mellows out.  I guess that would be the dry-down.  The sweetness has changed from aggressively sweet to more like a beeswax sweetness.  I don't know if this will be my Voodoo Dolly perfume, but I would wear it again.

I watched The Call of Cthulhu last night.  It's a relatively short silent film made in 2005, intended as an homage both to Lovecraft and to silent film.  I can see why one would want to take the silent film approach to the Cthulhu mythos, because the melodrama of Lovecraft I don't think translates all that well to modern film, not if one remains very true to the source.  So I applaud the idea, but for the most part the execution just didn't work for me.  I had two main problems.  One is that even though the film makers tried to make the film look old with superimposed scratches, random hairs, etc., the images under the effects looked too modern.  I think it's because the contrasts were too sharp.  In real films from the 20s, the whites are always shadowed and the blacks are always grainy, adding an artfulness and subtlety that was largely lacking in The Call of Cthulhu.  The other is that modern actors just don't move like the actors of the silent film era.  They rely on words (even when not audible) and the precision of the camera to convey their actions, expressions and emotions.  The old silent film actors made grander, more dramatic gestures and expressions, using their entire bodies to get the moment across to the viewer.  I know that Delsarte training was very big then, and you can see it in those movies.  So the quality of the filmwork and the physical behavior of the actors was very jarring and to me largely ruined the conceit of the silent film*.  It felt more art house than genuine.  That said, though, there were some good points.  Clever camera work and set building conveyed some of those unimaginable angles very effectively.  The whole ship at sea part was the best bit of the film for me.  I would say it is worth watching if you are a Lovecraft completist or if you are particularly interested in film making.

*A good example of how modern actors can achieve a silent film look is Shadow of the Vampire.  Everybody clearly did their homework for that.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
A hawk just screamed overhead, and dozens of pigeons, starlings, sparrows and whatever else is outside my office window instantly dove as one for cover.  She's the queen of the air, no doubt about it.

Forgot today's BPAL in my last post, Black Forest:  "This is the captured scent of a cold, moonless night, lost deep within the darkest wood. Haunting and desolate, this scent evokes images of fairy tale tragedy and half-remembered nightmares. Thick, viscous pine with ambergris, black musk, juniper and cypress."  It is indeed woodsy and may not be doing my allergies any favors.  It's pleasant, but some note in it reminds me of an element of many men's colognes to the point where I keep thinking some guy must be standing near me.  Might be the black musk.  Sort of makes me want a gin and tonic.   Then again, that might just be life and not the oil at all.

As an update to yesterday's review of Saturnalia, i would add that it smelled much better by the end of the day, but I found the smell of it wet really unpleasant.  Might be ok for candles or potpourri.  Definitely has staying power, I could still smell it on me this morning before my shower.

Hee, the hawk did it again.  I bet she's doing it on purpose :)

sundry

Jun. 11th, 2007 12:12 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Arlington's first beer and wine shop opened this weekend!  Yay!  I walked by it last night after it had closed, but I peered in the windows.  I couldn't see the beer section, but from what I could see of the wine it looked like a small but well chosen group of selections.  I timed the walk to my house and it was about 8 minutes, and that after I'd already been walking for a while.  It will be so nice to be able to run out for a bottle of wine for dinner or a six pack of beer without making a big production out of it.  I'm also happy that this is an independent business run by two women, one of whom grew up in Arlington.

Watched The Hidden Fortress for the first time in several years last night.  It's hard to watch it just for itself as opposed to looking for all the Star Wars plot and character origins, of which there are many, but I enjoyed it.  I did like (as did Lucas, it's inescapable!) that we saw everything from the point of view of the two peasants (later to become droids).  Suddenly they would be in the middle of a war and have no idea why or even what side they were supposed to be on, if any.  At times it made the movie slightly confusing, but I'm sure it reflected the chaos of a peasant's life at the time.  It was also great to see an action oriented female character in a film of that time.  In addition to the Star Wars things, I could also really see the origins of many of the structural/character conventions of anime in the film as well.  Also, Toshiro Mifune is hot in his tunic and booty shorts.

Today's BPAL is Saturnalia:  "Unrestrained revelry, unchained licentiousness! Violet deepened with vetiver."  Short description.  I hated this when I put it on--the scent I was most reminded of was that of crushed or bruised Devil's Club, which smells gross and is generally associated with the pain of its little poisonous stinging barbs after you have blundered into it.  There was a lot of it in southeastern Alaska.  The sharpness of that scent has faded a bit and now I get more violet and it's not making me feel ill any more.  Still, it is quite safe to say that I will never, ever wear this one again.

Have heard one of Kenmore Square's redtailed hawks scream a few times this morning.  It's kind of comforting in an odd way.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Reading Salon's coverage of last night's Republican presidential candidate debate, I encountered the following statement by McCain that I think shows a uniquely nuanced view of Native Americans that I don't believe I've ever heard from another politician of any political party:

"Blitzer asks if any of the Republicans onstage disagree with the claim that English should be the official language in the United States. McCain is the only one to raise his hand. "I would like to remind you that we made treaties with Native Americas such as the Navajos in my state, where we respect their sovereignty and they use their native language," he says. "It's no big deal." He stands alone."

A presidential candidate on national television noting Native American sovereignty not to score points at some commemorative event but just as a matter of fact--there are plenty of things I disagree with McCain about, but I genuinely admire him for that.

BPAL of the day is Queen Mab:  "Warrior, Trickster and Goddess of Magic and Poets, she is one of the Tuatha De Danaan and the Queen of the Faeries. A very complex scent, both shadowy and fierce: black orchid, sandalwood, night-blooming jasmine, osmanthus, Somalian rose, and Chinese musk."  I didn't order this one, it was a freebie.  It does smell nice, but it's too rosy for me.  Or maybe it's the rose and musk together that don't totally work for me.  However, people who like to smell of roses would probably like this one, it's a quality scent with good staying power.

Najmat's class left me feeling like I'd been hit in the abs with a 2x4.  Ow.  Good moves, though.  We did a bunch of Saidi as well.  Between that on Tuesday and the karshlima on Monday, I feel like I've been hopping for days.  Because I have.

bpal

May. 31st, 2007 12:03 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Got in some new imps, so a new batch of reviews will commence.  Today is Jazz Funeral, "Considered a great honor, this is one of the most distinguished aspects of New Orleans culture. Its roots lie in the customs of the Dahomeans and Yoruba people, and is a celebration of both the person's life and the beauty and solemnity of their death. The procession is lead by the Grand Marshal, resplendent in his black tuxedo, white gloves and black hat in hand; almost a vision of the great Baron Samedi himself. The music begins with solemn, tolling dirges, moves into hymns of sorrow, loss and redemption. When the burial site is reached, a two-note preparatory riff is sounded, and the drummers start the second-line beat, heralding the switch in music to joyous, upbeat songs, dancing, and the unfurling of richly decorated umbrellas by the “second line”: friends, family, loved ones and stray celebrants. Strutting, bouncing, and festive dance accompanies the upbeat ragtime music that sends the departed soul onto its next journey. Bittersweet bay rum and a host of funeral flowers with a touch of graveyard dirt, magnolia and Spanish Moss."  I like this one.  It does have a dusty dried flower/earthy undertone with a rich but not sweet predominant overtone somewhat like good pipe tobacco.  It's a little manly but I don't mind being contradictory.  And yes, I'm already looking for a scent for my Voodoo Dolly piece in October :-)

Yesterday and the day before was Bastet, "Bast, Ubasti, Ailuros, Ba-en-Aset. Represented as both a domestic cat and a fierce lioness, she truly evidences traits of both. She is the Mother of All Cats, Goddess of Sensuality, Fertility, and a guardian and protector of women. She is also one of the Eyes of Ra, and in that aspect is an Avenging Goddess, seeking retribution and punishing enemies of her people. Luxuriant amber, warm Egyptian musk, fierce saffron and soft myrrh, almond, cardamom and golden lotus."  Doesn't that sound amazing?  It does to me, as those are all scents I like very much, but unfortunately this perfume disappeared on me in short order, leaving just a very faint musk behind.  Even sweating in dance class on Tuesday and gardening on Wednesday did not bring it out.  The reviews at the BPAL forum tell me I'm not the only one on whom it fades, but other people really like it.  Disappointing, but some perfumes just do that on some skin types, it might work fine on other people.

Planted basil last night and I swear it was bigger already this morning.  I'm glad it gets some gentle weather to acclimatize to its new location.  I also started a big container of curly mint, added some purple ageratum to the front tier of the yard and a couple of lilies of the valley.  Those last are perennials, I'd like to fill in the lower tier a bit with things that can fight off the vinca vine.  Ideally there would be a plant that blooms with little machetes and wages war on the vinca vine as it flowers, but I suppose I'll have to settle for something hardy and better adapted to that particular location.  It will make me sad when we eventually have to leave it all behind, but I'm enjoying it now and I know the landlord appreciates that he doesn't have to do anything about the yard so we get brownie points. 

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